When you say beaches, Fiji is one of the first places that should come to mind. The beautiful, pristine waters and the sprawling white sand are inviting. This could be a nature treat to anyone who will be given the chance to see it. There are two main cities which are Lautoka and. The first one is popularly known for its vast sugar cane plantation. Suva as the capital, nightlife could make you see many different glimmering lights you would surely enjoy. This brings life into a complete circle where nature’s beauty meets the urban vibe. There is no shortage of experiences that can be gained through a visit in Fiji.
Interesting and Important Facts About Fiji
- The country comprises an archipelago of more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited, and more than 500 islets, amounting to a total land area of about 18,300 square kilometres (7,100 sq mi).
- Fiji has one of the most developed economies in the Pacific due to an abundance of forest, mineral, and fish resources.
- The majority of Fiji’s islands were formed through volcanic activity starting around 150 million years ago. Today, some geothermal activity still occurs on the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni
- The Taveuni island is one of the major islands that form the island nation of Fiji. It ranks the third position regarding its area among the other two major islands of Fiji, viz. the Vanua Levu and the Viti Levu.The wonderful lake named, Tagimaucia lake is located on this island and is visited by hundreds of travelers.
- Fiji’s attraction is primarily its white sandy beaches and postcard perfect islands with all-year-round tropical weather. In general Fiji is a mid-range priced holiday/vacation destination with most of the accommodations in this range. It also has a variety of world class 5-star resorts and hotels. More budget resorts are being opened in remote areas, which will provide more tourism opportunities.
- Medinilla waterhousei, commonly known as Tagimaucia or Tagimoucia (tahng-ee-mow-theea), is a species of flowering plant in the family Melastomataceae which is endemic to highland rainforest of the Fijian island of Taveuni. It is a liana bearing crimson and white flowers in 30 cm-long hanging clusters. It only grows at altitudes of over 600 m, flowering from October to December.
- Nestled in the cool shadows of the big man himself, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is one of the more pleasant discoveries you’ll make during your visit to Fiji. In fact, this garden could well be one of the best kept horticultural secrets in the whole of the South Pacific.The Garden contains a vast collection of more than 2000 varieties of magnificent Asian orchids and Cattleya hybrids
- An extinct volcano in the northern highlands on the main island of Viti Levu, Mount Tomanivi, formerly Mt Victoria, is the highest peak in Fiji. Standing at 1,323m, ascending to the summit of this mountain is a popular adventure activity for visitors to the Fijian Islands for a stunning view over the natural scenery.
- Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park is an area of great significance as an example of an amazing natural phenomenon with a rich archaeological history. Located west of the town of Sigatoka on the main Fijian island of Viti Levu, the impressive dune system covers an area of 650 hectares.
- Cassava or tavioka has replaced yams and is now the most cultivated and consumed staple crop in Fiji.
- The only native mammalian life in Fiji is the fruit bat, and six varieties can be found on the islands, including the Fijian monkey-faced flying fox, one of the most primitive fruit bat species.
- Fiji is home to over 4,000 square miles of coral reef, including the Great Astrolabe Reef.
Cool, Funny, and Fun Facts about Fiji
- FIJI Water is a brand of bottled water derived, bottled, and shipped from Fiji. It is available in 330ml, 500ml, 1 liter and 1.5 liter bottles. According to marketing materials, the water comes from an artesian aquifer in Viti Levu.
- Rugby Union is the most popular sport in Fiji with a participation rate of nearly 10% of the population. Other sports played include rugby 7’s, rugby league and football (soccer).
- To celebrate the New Year, women in the villages join the traditional game called veicaqe moli or “kick the orange.”
- If you intend to visit the local villages, you should remember that only the chiefs of these villages are allowed to wear hats and sunglasses.
- The Queen of England has the title of Paramount Chief of the Great Council of Chiefs of Fiji. Her image is included in colorful banknotes and coins in the country.
- Fiji is located right on the International Date Line. In Taveuni, there is a spot where you can stand with one foot in the current date and your other foot in the previous date.
- Fiji has a high literacy rate of 93%. Education is compulsory and free till the age of 16.
- Fiji has 28 airports, but only four of them have paved runways.
- It s pretty much guaranteed that after the words bula (welcome) and vinaka (please), the two words you will hear more often than any others during a visit to Fiji are “Isa Lei.” That’s because they are the title to the beautiful song of farewell that Fijians sing to departing visitors.
Historical and Cultural Facts about Fiji
- Austronesian peoples are believed to have settled in the Fijian islands some 3,500 years ago, with Melanesians following around a thousand years later. Most authorities agree that they originated in Southeast Asia and came via Indonesia. Archeological evidence shows signs of settlement on Moturiki Island from 600 BC and possibly as far back as 900 BC.
- The first European to visit the area was the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1643. The English navigator James Cook also sailed through the area in 1774. The individual most commonly credited with the “discovery” of Fiji was Captain William Bligh, who sailed through Fiji in 1789 and 1792 following the mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty.
- The 19th Century was a period of great upheaval in the islands of Fiji. The first Europeans to land in Fiji were shipwrecked sailors and runaway convicts from the British penal colonies in Australia. By the middle of the century missionaries arrived in the islands and embarked upon the conversion of the Fijian people to Christianity.
- Cannibalism practiced in Fiji at that time quickly disappeared as missionaries gained influence. When Ratu Seru Cakobau accepted Christianity in 1854, the rest of the country soon followed and tribal warfare came to an end.
- Fiji became an independent sovereign state on 10th October 1970 when its colonial status was abrogated. Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, first Prime Minister of independent Fiji, received from Prince Charles the documents evidencing Fiji’s independence. That independence was and remains a great source of pride and joy to all Fiji citizens. On that day the dark clouds of colonialism were swept away.
- From 1879 to 1916 Indians came as indentured labourers to work on the sugar plantations. After the indentured system was abolished, many stayed on as independent farmers and businessmen. Today they comprise 43.6 per cent of the population.
- Fiji has a large body of folklore, mythology, and oral history. One myth describes the protection of the island of Kadavu by a Shark God. This belief explains why the inhabitants of the island today have no fear of the sharks that are common in their island’s reefs.
- Major holidays for Fijians include the annual Hibiscus Festival, a celebration of things Fijian; the Queen’s Birthday in June; Fiji Day, October 13; Constitution Day, June 28; and Christmas Day and Boxing Day, December 26.
- Traditional Fijian clothing for men is a native kilt called a sulu. Men and woman also wear Western-style clothing. The sulu is always worn during ceremonial occasions and has become more popular since the coup of 1987.
- From the time they can understand, children take orders from older men in the family, especially their fathers. Respect and strict obedience are expected of children. Discipline and punishment is the job of the father. Mothers are more indulgent with their children.
- The standard Fijian greeting is ni sa bula, or the informal bula. Visiting a person’s house always entails removing one’s shoes before entering.
- Dancing is an important part of traditional Fijian culture. Men and women danced separately. Women’s dances often used intricate and delicate hand gestures. Many of the men’s dances suggested military exploits and involved aggressive posing with weapons. Both men and women had “sitting” dances. Singing was also important in traditional society. Today, Western-style instruments and singing styles have become popular.
- Modern Fijian cuisine is diverse with great influences from Indian cuisine and spices along with traditional local tropical fruits, vegetables, fish and wild pork.